Governor Corbett’s proposed 2012–2013 state budget includes a combination of direct payment cuts, stricter eligibility requirements, and post-care review that will reduce hospital Medicaid payments by a combined $146 million. The budget also calls for “block grants” for counties to pay for mental health and drug and alcohol services, along with services to the intellectually impaired and the homeless, all with a 20 percent cut in funding. This will likely increase the number of individuals seeking care in hospital emergency departments.
The budget proposal comes on top of the Governor’s current-year budget freeze that reduced payments for obstetrics/neonatal, burn care, trauma care, and critical access hospitals by 10 percent; a likely 2 percent reduction in Medicare payments as a result of the current budget/deficit impasse in Congress; last year’s 4 percent state Medicaid cut to hospitals; and $9 billion in payment reductions that will be absorbed by Pennsylvania hospitals as part of federal health reform.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society is currently putting together a complete analysis of the proposed budget’s impact on health care, and we’ll share that with all members as soon as it’s available. So check back often, and we’ll keep you up to date.